Sept. 11, 2004 — Aug. 14, 2021
Some people come into the world and bring shine to everything they touch. Finn Thilo Trommer, born on Sept. 11, 2004, exuded radiance. Wherever he went, he brought his curiosity, tenacity, discipline, integrity and goofiness. In the classroom, he achieved straight A plusses. He won the fencing tournament, the chess tournament and the science fair. He built his own gaming computer, then built computers for his friends, too. Finn was, as a family friend once noted, “150 percent alive.” He gave everything. Everything.
He loved using his body: He danced for eight years with Palm Dance learning hip hop and tap with Keri Sutton and had recently begun ballet. He loved skiing and learned to do backflips. He joined the golf team and took up tennis. Finn loved using his hands: building Legos, making wooden crafts, making stained glass and mosaics. He loved using words: he was an articulate communicator, mature beyond his years. He loved using his brain, and he endlessly researched what interested him most: cars, the stock market, gaming and photography. He sought out mentors who would push him — and many adults poured their love, energy and time into him, helping him become his best self. The family thanks every one of these people.
Perhaps most of all, Finn loved using his heart. He cared deeply about others and went to great lengths to be kind. One classmate recalls how when she was struggling on a backpacking trip, Finn carried her backpack for her. Another remembers how he helped her and other younger dance students feel included when they levelled up. He travelled to Guatemala and participated in mission work in Chujulimul. And for years, Finn volunteered once a week at the library with his mentor Dan Bergstrom-Noel tutoring other students in math.
Finn also had a strong sense of patriotic duty. He planned to join the military and hung an American flag in his bedroom.
He was a button pusher. A provocateur. He could never understand why others didn’t also bring their best, and sometimes he pushed others harder than they wished to be pushed. He loved to argue for the joy of arguing. In a town of liberals, he was a conservative. In a state that legalized marijuana, he was staunchly against its use. He loved country music and cello. He was so utterly, unapologetically himself, stumping any stereotype.
Because he was so blessed, it is hard, perhaps, to understand why he took his own life on Aug. 14, 2021. Perhaps some people are so radiant because they have to be — because they have an inner struggle that forces them to show up brilliant just to be able to meet a morning. This was the side of Finn that few outside his closest circle knew. He was never satisfied. He was insatiable for experiences and knowledge and things — almost as if there was a hole inside that could never be filled. He felt life so deeply — felt it all. He desperately wanted to feel at peace, and despite therapy, mentorship, medication, unconditional love and other healing modalities, peace eluded him. His first word was “shadow” — a word that now feels prophetic. He was forever linked to both the light and the darkness, and though it was the darkness that took him, it is also what shaped him into the luminous being he was.
He was known to his mother Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer as My Beamish Boy and Finnito Bambino; to his father Eric Trommer as Tall Man; to his sister Vivian Rose Trommer as Finny; to his sister Shawnee Trommer Adelson and her husband Drew Watts simply as Finn, to his grandmother Julianne Wahtola as Sunny Funny Finn, to his grandfather Charles Wahtola as Finnstermuffin, and to his gaming friends as Green Tractor.
The family thanks the community for all the generous love and support in this difficult time — we are astonished by the goodness of people. The love doesn’t diminish the pain of his loss, but it helps us meet the pain and move forward. Finn was a comet — brilliant, then no longer here, but not gone. With his unrelenting realness, he forced others to meet the world as it is. Let x equal x. In Finn’s memory, consider an act of kindness, especially toward someone who pushes your buttons.
A community gathering will be planned in the future.